At this link, you can find the video of it from The New York Times. Coverage courtesy of the Post:
“A police officer in North Charleston, S.C., has been charged with murder after shooting a man during a traffic stop, authorities said Tuesday.
The decision to charge the officer, coming after a tense year of protests and demonstrations over excessive police violence, was announced by the city’s mayor and chief of police at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. Authorities said the decision to charge Michael Slager, the officer, was made after they viewed video footage of the incident that showed him shooting the other man in the back as he was fleeing the scene.”
The officer, Michael Slager, argued he feared for his life and that the “suspect” took his taser. In the video, after shooting him 8 times in the back, the officer clearly drops a taser by the body. It’s another instance where video evidence contradicts the word of the police.
Here’s his booking photo:
In the old days, the police officer’s word was enough. In this situation, Slager quite literally would have gotten away with murder. It shows not only the importance of videos and body cameras, but the other component: That they decided to charge him with murder. Such a move is not wholly unprecedented, but it is extremely rare. It remains to be seen what occurs in the courts hereafter. Still, that’s promising.
Disgusting and sick video. All over a broken taillight. The “suspect” reportedly fled over fear of missed child payments. This is a good point from Popehat though:
Finally, it’s worth pointing out every time I see these videos: It bothers me how scared the people shooting the video are that the police will notice them, even though citizens are 100% in the right to film cops. I’d be scared, too, admittedly.
Here’s how the story was reported by the local ABC affiliate before the video came out:
Makes you wonder, as someone did on Twitter, what’s going on out there when there’s no video?
Moreover, also as someone noted on Twitter, it’s shocking how brazen the officer was in planting the taser right in front of his fellow officer. Speaks to a culture that thinks that’s okay, no biggie. Makes you wonder if that officer reported the plant before the video came to light?
More to say on this as it comes in. In a sea of egregious, this one takes the cake.